A section of Third Avenue Southwest near the Mayo Building was cordoned off Saturday while police investigated a "suspicious package" nearby.

At about 9:22 a.m., a Mayo Clinic security guard noticed a suspicious package near the clinic and reported it to the Rochester Police Department, according to Lt. Jim Evenson. The item was described as resembling a pipe bomb, a short length of PVC pipe with end caps.

When officers arrived, they took photos of the item, then sent them to the bomb squad in Saint Paul, which arrived at about 12:22 p.m., examined the item, and determined it was not dangerous.

In fact, Evenson said, it seemed to be a device that was being used to store drugs. A small amount of methamphetamine was discovered inside the pipe.

He said there are no cameras near where the bag was found, so making a possession charge on the item would not be likely.

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"We'll just destroy it," he said.

"It doesn’t appear it was placed there to cause panic," Evenson said. "It's likely just somebody dropped it."